Skip to main content

Sony 2021 TV line-up: models, sizes, specs, everything you need to know

Sony 2021 TV lineup: models, sizes, specs, everything you need to know
(Image credit: Sony)

It's not every year that Sony launches a brand new TV processor to run throughout its range, so we have high hopes for the Sony 2021 TV line-up. It's headlined by the Cognitive Processor XR chip, which adds an extra layer of cognitive intelligence analysis to the already excellent Sony AI Processing and should therefore, hopefully, produce even better pictures and sound.

The Sony 2021 TV range has no huge surprises in terms of models and panel sizes compared to last year's launch, with all sets designed to replace predecessors. With  three TV gongs in our most recent What Hi-Fi? Awards, that's no bad thing.

There are two Master Series models (an 8K LCD and a 4K OLED), a slightly lower specced OLED model and then two more full array LED series, all featuring the Cognitive Processor XR. There are more budget, edge-lit, non-XR models in the new range, too.

Prices have just started to filter through with the first firm details available for the A90J Master Series OLED TVs. The 55in and 65in versions of these TVs are the most reasonably priced Master Series sets from Sony to date. Hopefully, this is something of a marker for the whole line-up.

All the sets in the Sony 2021 TV range feature Sony's Ambient Optimization technology, Dolby Vision HDR and are AirPlay 2-enabled. Bluetooth with A2DP is also standard across all the Sony Bravia XR sets too.

The big addition on the usability side is the switch from Android TV to the new Google TV platform. That brings the same excellent and intuitive look and feel as found in the Chromecast with Google TV media streamer.

As Google's launch partner for Google TV, these Sony's are the first sets you'll find with the operating system already build in. It's from here that you'll also be able to access all of Sony's usual picture, sound and other TV settings, as well as customise your home screen by adding your most frequently used apps. All the TVs use the YouView tuner in the UK and come with support for both Alexa and Google Assistant.

Sony continues with Netflix Calibrated Mode in the majority of its models and has IMAX Enhanced certifications with the upper ranges, too. Most sets are also ready to work with the Calman calibration software, should that be of interest.

Sony has added various driver upgrades to its excellent Acoustic Multi-Audio (LCD) and Acoustic Surface Audio+ (OLED) sound-from-picture speaker design, which runs through all of the XR models. These include increased numbers of actuators and tweeters as well as improved enclosure size and shape. Look out for the all-new 3D Surround Upscaling tech, too.

Gamers will be pleased to note that all of the TVs on this page, apart from the W800, have ports with HDMI 2.1 features. These include the ability to run 4K resolution content at up to 120Hz frame rates and technologies such as ALLM and eARC. They are also Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) compatible but will require a firmware update to make that possible.

Let's take a closer look at some of these new features before we give you a full run-down of each of the Sony Bravia TV series for 2021.

Cognitive Processor XR

Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

The Sony Bravia Cognitive Processor XR marries the AI abilities of its X1 predecessor with a system that Sony calls cognitive intelligence. While AI analyses picture and sound signals and uses data based on machine learning, cognitive intelligence aims to add a more human perspective to identify and enhance AV performance and deliver an experience in line with how humans see and hear the world.

This world first TV picture processing, according to Sony, begins with a scene detection stage to identify and enhance the main focal points and, ultimately, adds a greater sense of depth to the image.

The XR processor looks at multiple zones and other elements (colour, contrast, texture, depth, detail, etc) of each frame and performs a cross analysis to work out the most important areas.

The Bravia XR sets come with a host of XR processing modes, many of which replace the similar-sounding systems found in the previous X1-based TVs – XR Motion Clarity and XR Smoothing, for example, with the most significant seemingly XR Contrast Booster.

The Contrast Booster is designed to boost peak brightness while maintaining well exposed whites and blacks in the image, and comes in good/better/best levels for the LCD TVs: the Master Series Sony Z9J has the XR Contrast Booster 15 while lower TVs go down to either the XR Contrast Booster 10 or XR Contrast Booster 5.

For the A90J and A80J OLEDs, the technology comes in the form of XR OLED Contrast Pro and XR OLED Contrast, respectively. Again, they offer improvements to peak brightness, overall brightness and an expansion of the colour volume as well which should help to bring a more accurate and true to life palette.

Lastly on picture, it's also worth noting that the XR Upscaler includes a texture reproduction database which its predecessor did not. That sits alongside the object-based super resolution technology from the X1 TVs and will hopefully make lower resolution content better than ever on Bravia TVs – potentially very useful for the Z9J while we wait for a wealth of 8K source material.

XR Sound with 3D Surround Upscaling

Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

The Bravia XR TVs have cognitive intelligence for TV sound too. Along with improvements to the speaker hardware, features such as XR Sound Position aim to analyse the signal and make sure that the sound is coming from the correct parts of the picture with both Acoustic Surface Audio+ (OLED) and Acoustic Multi-Audio (LCD) technologies.

The big new addition for audio, though, is XR Surround with 3D Surround Upscaling. This takes a 2ch or 5.1ch audio signal and creates a virtual 5.1.2ch experience with the aim of enveloping the viewer in sound in all dimensions.

Bravia CORE streaming service

Sony is taking the huge step of launching its own high-bitrate streaming service which, for the short-term at least, will be exclusive to Sony Bravia XR 2021 TVs.

Called Bravia CORE (Centre of Real Entertainment), this new streaming service effectively has two elements. On the one hand it will host hundreds of titles from the Sony Picture Entertainment back catalogue, all of which can be freely streamed for either 12 or 24 months, depending on which TV you've purchased. On the other, it will also allow pay-as-you-go streaming of fresh-from-the-cinema movies, with owners of the new XR TVs given a number of free credits (five or ten, again depending on the model you've bought) that can be used as 'payment'.

Much of the content will be at 4K HDR levels, but what takes it beyond what other services, such as Apple TV and Rakuten, is that it will host a large number of IMAX Enhanced movies and that data rates will be much higher, resulting in better picture quality. Sony says streams will be at up to 80Mbps, which it claims is beyond the rates of many UHD Blu-ray discs. We're fascinated to find out whether Bravia CORE streams really can outperform disc-based movies, and what happens when users connect via a slower connection.

Sony is also uncertain about whether Bravia CORE will continue beyond the 24-month timeframe or whether it will be opened up further in the future. For the time being, it certainly makes an interesting and welcome toe in the water for all concerned.

Sony Z9J 8K LED TV

Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

At the top of the 2021 TV tree is the Sony Z9J Master Series LCD TV. It's an 8K LED TV, positioned to replace the ZH8 from 2020. It continues with the attractive Immersive Edge design, which includes a titanium silver bezel and a three-position stand that allows for wide and central feet as well, as a third setting to allow space for a soundbar.

As the flagship Sony TV for the year, it's fitted with all the spoils that Sony has to offer right now. These include a full array LED panel (available in two sizes), the best XR Contrast Booster level and three 48Gbps ports with HDMI 2.1 features, specced at 120Hz rates for 4K material.

The panel itself has Sony's X-Wide Angle technology, to maximise picture consistency when viewing off-axis, as well as X-Anti Reflection glass to minimise unwanted glare from light sources in your space.

It comes with an aluminium, back-lit voice remote and there's a colour sensor as well as a light sensor so that Ambient Optimisation mode can automatically adjust chromatically as well as for brightness, according to your viewing environment.

Sony has increased the number of frame tweeters to four by adding two on the top edge for improved high frequency performance. The front facing subwoofers and midrange speakers on the bottom edge are larger too. 

Sony Z9J 8K TV specs

  • Sizes: 75in (KD-75Z9J), 85in (KD-85Z9J)
  • Screen type: Full Array LED, X-Wide Angle, X-Anti Reflection
  • Resolution: 8K
  • Processor: XR Picture Processor
  • XR Contrast: Contrast Booster 15
  • HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • Operating system: Google TV
  • HDMI 2.1 ports: 3 (4K 120Hz, ALLM, VRR)
  • Certification: Netflix Calibrated, IMAX Enhanced, Calman Ready
  • Sound: Acoustic Multi Audio, Dolby Atmos, 3D Surround upscaling
  • Design: 3-way stand

Sony Z9J 8K TV pricing

  • Sony KD-75Z9J - TBC
  • Sony KD-85Z9J - TBC

Sony A90J 4K OLED TV

Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

The Sony A90J Master Series is Sony's top OLED for 2021. It's not 8K, but there is an interesting and big screen 83-inch version alongside the usual 55in and 65in models.

The A90J replaces the AG9 and keeps the Seamless Edge Bezel design with a frame of just 0.7mm for the 55in and 65in models. The 83in has the slightly more robust Flush Surface Bezel look and feel but should be premium nonetheless. It also benefits from the same three-way stand as the Z9J while the smaller panels maintain the choice of wide or soundbar formations but don't get the central stand positioning.

As a Master Series TV, it comes with a premium, back-lit, aluminium voice remote control as well as both light and colour sensors to use for the Ambient Optimisation mode.

Acoustic Surface Audio+ is the sound tech for OLEDs. It's planned that the cognitive intelligence processing will offer superior bass. The actuators have been redesigned into a circular shape with an inner circle responsible for creating the higher frequency sounds. The aim is for better sound positioning and quality.

As with the Z9J, it comes with 24 months access to the Bravia CORE streaming service and 10 film credits.

Sony A90J 4K OLED TV specs

  • Sizes: 55in (KD-55A90J), 65in (KD-65A90J), 83in (KD-83A90J)
  • Screen type: OLED Master Series
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Processor: XR Picture Processor
  • XR Contrast: XR OLED Contrast Pro
  • HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • Operating system: Google TV
  • HDMI 2.1 ports: 2 (4K 120Hz, ALLM, VRR)
  • Certification: Netflix Calibrated, IMAX Enhanced
  • Sound: Acoustic Surface Audio+, Dolby Atmos, 3D Surround Upscaling
  • Design: 3-way stand (83in), 2-way stand (55/65in)

Sony A90J 4K OLED TV pricing

  • Sony KD-55A90J - £2699/€2999/$2999
  • Sony KD-65A90J - £3499/€3999/$3999
  • Sony KD-83A90J - £6999/€6999/$TBC

Sony A80J 4K OLED TV

Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

If a Master Series OLED feels like a bit of a stretch, then the Sony A80J 4K OLED TVs are the next best thing. They lose one facet of picture and of design but should still perform well if last year's A8 OLEDs are anything to go by.

On the physical front, they get a more standard voice remote control and the Flush Surface Bezel design, which is not quite as super-thin at the frame. The three-way stand is still present, though, as is Acoustic Surface Audio+, which includes perforations on the rear of the TV to help with bass production.

There's no colour sensor to sit alongside the light sensor during Ambient Optimisation, and picture performance is likely to drop a little with the 'Pro' removed from its flavour of XR OLED Contrast intelligent processing. It's otherwise very much as above.

Sony A80J 4K OLED TV specs

  • Sizes: 55in (KD-55A80J), 65in (KD-65A80J), 77in (KD-77A80J)
  • Screen type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Processor: XR Picture Processor
  • XR Contrast: XR OLED Contrast
  • HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • Operating system: Google TV
  • HDMI 2.1 ports: 2 (4K 120Hz, ALLM, VRR)
  • Certification: Netflix Calibrated, IMAX Enhanced
  • Sound: Acoustic Surface Audio+, Dolby Atmos, 3D Surround Upscaling
  • Design: 3-way stand

Sony A80J 4K OLED TV pricing

  • Sony KD-55A80J - TBC
  • Sony KD-65A80J - TBC
  • Sony KD-77A80J - TBC

Sony X95J 4K LED TV

Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

It's back to the LCDs with the Sony X95J 4K LED series. The main difference for performance comes with the drop in XR Contrast to the medium level Contrast Booster 10 processing. These full array TVs are still IMAX Enhanced-certified and feature both the X-Wide Angle and X-Anti-Reflection technologies. (No Anti-Reflection on the 85in.)

These sets do also retain some of the premium look and feel of the Master Series. They include the aluminium, backlit, voice remote as well as the super-skinny Seamless Edge Bezel design. There's the 3-way stand on the two bigger panel sizes with a central position not required for the smaller 65in variant.

Sony X95J TV specs

  • Sizes: 65in (KD-65X95J) 75in (KD-75X95J), 85in (KD-85X95J)
  • Screen type: Full Array LED, X-Wide Angle, X-Anti Reflection (not 85in)
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Processor: XR Picture Processor
  • XR Contrast: Contrast Booster 10
  • HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • Operating system: Google TV
  • HDMI 2.1 ports: 2 (4K 120Hz, ALLM, VRR)
  • Certification: Netflix Calibrated, IMAX Enhanced, Calman Ready
  • Sound: Acoustic Multi Audio, Dolby Atmos, 3D Surround upscaling
  • Design: 3-way stand (75/85in), 2-way stand without centre positioning (65in)

Sony X95J 4K TV pricing

  • Sony KD-85X95J - TBC
  • Sony KD-75X95J - TBC
  • Sony KD-65X95J - TBC

Sony X90J 4K TV

Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

The Sony X90J LED TVs replace the Award-winning XH90s from 2020. There are four panel sizes between 50-75in with the Flush Surface Bezel design and higher raised Slim Blade feet with two-position options. There's already enough height in the design to allow room for a soundbar.

Again, the voice remote is the standard, black variety and, on the performance front, XR Contrast drops down to Contrast Booster 5. There are no X-Wide Angle or anti-reflection benefits either.

Otherwise, Acoustic Multi Audio, Google TV, the HDMI 2.1 features and most  everything else is present and correct, including IMAX Enhanced certification.

Sony X90J 4K TV specs

  • Sizes: 50in (KD-50X90J) 55in (KD-55X90J), 65in (KD-65X90J), 75 (KD-75X90J)
  • Screen type: Full Array LED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Processor: XR Picture Processor
  • XR Contrast: Contrast Booster 5
  • HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • Operating system: Google TV
  • HDMI 2.1 ports: 2 (4K 120Hz, ALLM, VRR)
  • Certification: Netflix Calibrated, IMAX Enhanced, Calman Ready
  • Sound: Acoustic Multi Audio, Dolby Atmos, 3D Surround upscaling
  • Design: 2-way Slim Blade stand (55in and above)

Sony X90J TV prices

  • Sony KD-50X90J - TBC
  • Sony KD-55X90J - TBC
  • Sony KD-65X90J - TBC
  • Sony KD-75X90J - TBC

Sony X85J 4K TV

Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

From the Sony X85J downwards, the 2021 Sony TVs lose the new Cognitive Processor XR and make do with the very able Processor X1 from the 2020 range. That means no XR Contrast Booster or 3D Sound Upscaling either.

They also drop from full array LED panels to edge-lit models too, so expect losses in local dimming abilities. Gone too are Netflix Calibrated and IMAX Enhanced certifications, along with Acoustic Multi Audio which is instead replaced by Sony's X-Balanced speaker system.

All the HDR compatibility is still there and the handy Google TV operating system too.

The X85J maintains the Flush Surface Bezel frame design and the two-position Slim Blade stand which is available for the 55in model and above. It's the biggest of the 2021 series, in terms of panel size options, and each has a native 100Hz refresh rate with 800Hz Motionflow processing.

Sony X85J 4K TV specs

  • Sizes: 43in (KD-43X85J), 50in (KD-50X85J), 55in (KD-55X85J), 65in (KD-65X85J), 75in (KD-75X85J), 85in (KD-85X85J)
  • Screen type: Edge-lit LED, 100Hz native
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Processor: Picture Processor X1
  • XR Contrast: N/A
  • HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • Operating system: Google TV
  • HDMI 2.1 ports: 2 (4K 120Hz, ALLM, VRR)
  • Certification: Calman Ready
  • Sound: Dolby Atmos, X-Balanced Speaker
  • Design: 2-way Slim Blade stand (55in and above)

Sony X85J 4K TV prices

  • Sony KD-43X85J - TBC
  • Sony KD-50X85J - TBC
  • Sony KD-55X85J - TBC
  • Sony KD-65X85J - TBC
  • Sony KD-75X85J - TBC
  • Sony KD-85X85J - TBC

Sony X80J 4K TV and Sony X81J

Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

The Sony X80J is the entry level Bravia series for 2021. It's almost the same as the X85Js above but with a few reductions.

The design drops down to the slightly more meat and potatoes Narrow Bezel style and the LED panel has a native 50Hz refresh rate with 200Hz Motionflow processing.

The range of panel sizes is a little smaller but will cover the needs of most at this end of the market. The biggest of all is named the Sony X81J which comes in at 75in on the diagonal.

Sony X80J and X81J 4K TV specs

  • Sizes: 43in (KD-43X80J), 50in (KD-50X80J), 55in (KD-55X80J), 65in (KD-65X80J), 75in (KD-75X81J)
  • Screen type: Edge-lit LED, 50Hz native
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Processor: Picture Processor X1
  • XR Contrast: N/A
  • HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • Operating system: Google TV
  • HDMI 2.1 ports: 2 (4K 120Hz, ALLM, VRR)
  • Certification: Calman Ready
  • Sound: Dolby Atmos, X-Balanced Speaker
  • Design: 2-way Slim Blade stand (55in and above)

Sony X80J and X81J 4K TV prices

  • Sony KD-43X80J - TBC
  • Sony KD-50X80J - TBC
  • Sony KD-55X80J - TBC
  • Sony KD-65X80J - TBC
  • Sony KD-75X81J - TBC

Sony W800 32in HD LED TV

Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

Last of all, Sony hasn't forgotten about those who just need something small for the bedroom. The Sony W800 an HD resolution LED TV that comes in a 32in size only. It's run by the older Bravia Engine and uses Android TV as the OS, so you'll still get all the major app offerings that one would expect.

Sony W800 32in HD LED TV price

  • Sony KD-W800 - TBC

MORE: